Ask Erin: My Husband Is Mad That I Don’t Want To Watch Porn With Him 

My husband is mad that I don't want to watch porn. (Artwork: Tess Emily Rodriguez)

She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.


Q.

Dear Erin,

HELP.

I have been with my husband for eight years. Porn has never been an issue. We do not watch tv shows or movies without filtering out the nudity. And if he were to look at anything on his phone, it would have come out by now because I check it religiously. 

We got drunk the other night and ended up watching Fifty Shades Of Grey with the nudity filtered out, and from there we ended up watching full blown porn together. 

He says that it was fun and created a sexual environment that was good for us. He said that it’s okay because it’s me and him doing it together, that it would only be wrong if we did it apart or behind each other’s backs. 

Well, yesterday I sat down to tell him that it wouldn’t be happening again because I cannot handle it. I do not like the way I feel during, and I feel utterly gross days later. 

He stonewalled me. He will respond to my texts but with a short answer like “k.” He will not show me affection or spend time with me. He says that our relationship isn’t normal because most couples watch porn together and it’s okay because it’s not bringing other people into our bedroom. 

I feel like I have been gaslighted, like I am in the wrong for not being more morally compromising.

We have five kids together, and I stay home and am in school full time online so that when our youngest starts school, I can pursue a career. 

I don’t know if I’m in the right or wrong and I am too scared to stand firm because I don’t know how I would support myself or our children if he left.

 

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A.

You filter out the nudity from TV shows and films? That’s a thing? Do you mean you watch edited versions? I’m confused…. Also, is there anything left to watch if you filter nudity out of Fifty Shades of Grey? (I haven’t seen it.) 

Okay. 

If watching porn makes you feel crappy, then, of course, you shouldn’t be forced to watch it. 

But, it sounds like your husband wants to broaden your sexual horizons, together. That’s not a bad thing. 

You used the phrase “morally compromising.” I wonder if this is a religious issue (although you didn’t mention religion). Porn in and of itself is not morally bad. Yes, some porn perpetuates objectification of women, etc. It’s also completely normal to want to look at porn. I would say that most people get turned on and look at or read some version of pornography at some point.

Did you know that there is porn made by women for women

There are feminist porn directors. There’s a whole world of erotica that you may find excites you, without leaving you to feel crappy afterward. I think it’s worth exploring. 

I agree that it’s not helpful for your husband to be stonewalling you. But, if my partner felt gross about participating in something sexual with me that I really enjoyed, I’d feel pretty bad about that, too. 

Before you jump to the thought of divorce, I believe there are ways that you can work on this together. 

I highly recommend marriage counseling (with a therapist, not clergy). You need an objective third party to help guide you through this. This is not irreparable. 

You need to explore other ways to bring excitement to your sex life. Get creative. Maybe erotic literature is the way to go — reading aloud to one another. Maybe it’s porn for women made by women. Maybe it’s a little role play. 

The point is let yourself get kinky with your partner. Allow yourself to be a little free — of course, with consent. You don’t have to participate in stuff that makes you feel bad. But, you owe it to each other to find pleasure WITH each other. 

In a partnership, you work together to find solutions that work for both of you. 

The last thing I want to say is this: A red flag went up for me at the start of your email. You said, “And if he were to look at anything on his phone it would have come out by now because I check it religiously.” 

There is a major trust issue there. I would be annoyed/ feel smothered/ unhappy if my husband were to be checking my phone religiously. NOT because I have anything to hide, but because I am not his child; he is not my parent. 

So, get some counseling, make a list of erotic books or films that you might feel comfortable enjoying together, and please don’t be “mean mommy” — you’re his wife not his mom. So, ease up on the phone patrol. 


The information within Ask Erin should in no way be interpreted as medical advice because I'm not a medical professional. But I am here to help — to share with you the wisdom I've gained after years of making mistakes. If you have a question for me about relationships, addiction, dating, friendship, depression, sex, consent, Ulexite, to watch in bed with air conditioning, or anything at all, use the contact form below or email me at askerin@ravishly.com. As always, your anonymity is golden. Lastly, I’m so excited to share my Ask Erin Self-Care Guide, free when you sign up for my weekly newsletter. xoxo
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